Hayden finished the telling 20-minute morning warm-up session having posted the third fastest time while Biaggi was over one second per lap slower and could only manage eighth fastest on a bike that wasnít responding to the Italians demands.
In the race, Hayden made a reasonable start from the front row - his fifth front row start of the season - and was third at the end of the first lap behind the flying Movistar Hondaís of eventual race winner Marco Melandri and his team-mate Sete Gibernau.
On the fifth lap Gibernau overshot elevating Melandri to leader with Hayden chasing. On lap seven Valentino Rossi passed Hayden and the trio finished in this order. The American did his best to close the gap on Rossi - posting the second fastest lap of the race on lap 16 of the 22-lap encounter but eventually had to settle for third, some six seconds down on the world champion.
Haydenís team-mate Biaggi, starting his record breaking 200th consecutive GP, went into the race on a machine he was far from happy with having never found the right set-up around the challenging new 5.340km circuit lying east of Istanbul. The experienced 34-year-old didnít make a good start and ended the first lap in 15th place. Typically he pushed forward in an effort to secure valuable championship points. His fastest lap was over 2.2 seconds down on new lap record holder Melandriís time and although he overtook John Hopkins (Suzuki) and Olivier Jacque (Kawasaki) he was bitterly disappointed with his result of the weekend.
Max Biaggi: ďI never felt comfortable on the bike around here at any point of the weekend. My team tried so many things but nothing seemed to work. I rode as hard as I could on the package we had today and in the end it was only good enough for 12th place. To be in this position hurts me so much. My spirit is gone here and I can only hope we have some small piece of sunlight in Valencia to end this season that I want to forget on some sort of a reasonable note.Ē
Nicky Hayden: ďThatís the first time in MotoGP Iíve had three consecutive podiums so thatís definitely a step forward but to be honest I havenít really had the pace all weekend. In the race I came through much faster than weíd managed during the practice days and for that Iím happy. The team did a great job and they definitely made a difference. Iím disappointed for the points situation. With Marco having such a great ride Ė congratulations to him, he definitely deserves it Ė we now have a little gap to second place. I want to dedicate this podium to a very special friend of mine back home. We all recently found out heís been taken ill and wish him all our best. Heís had a huge influence in my career I wouldnít be where I am today without him. Our thoughts are with him.Ē
Makoto Tanaka, Team Manager: ďFirst comment is that we are very happy for Marco and for Honda. He has really been in another class all weekend and this is a great reward for his and his teamís work. Nicky rode very well to take another podium. Itís a shame he has lost his second place in the championship but he has been fast in Valencia and Iím sure he will be pushing so hard at the next GP. Max didnít find a good set-up and in a race where there was a big difference between the riders who had a fast pace and those that didnít, he never had a chance.Ē